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High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter Generation, Characterization, and Disposal Experiences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Description: High Efficiency Particulate Air filtration is an essential component of the containment and ventilation systems supporting the research and development activities at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. High Efficiency Particulate Air filters range in size from 7.6cm (3 inch) by 10.2 cm (4 inch) cylindrical shape filters to filter array assemblies up to 2.1 m (7 feet) high by 1.5 m (5 feet) wide. Spent filters are grouped by contaminates trapped in the filter media and become one of the components in the respective waste stream. Waste minimization and pollution prevention efforts are applied for both radiological and non-radiological applications. Radiological applications include laboratory hoods, glove boxes, and hot cells. High Efficiency Particulate Air filters also are generated from intake or pre-filtering applications, decontamination activities, and asbestos abatement applications. The disposal avenues include sanitary/industrial waste, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Toxic Substance Control Act, regulated waste, solid low-level waste, contact handled transuranic, and remote handled transuranic waste. This paper discusses characterization and operational experiences associated with the disposal of the spent filters across multiple applications.
Date: February 28, 2002
Creator: Coffey, D. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LLRW Management Challenges at a Large Research University

Description: In the performance of its mission as a world-class teaching and research institution, the University of Michigan (U-M) generates a variety of Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) streams. The management of these wastes (i.e. packaging, transportation, processing and disposal) has a direct impact on a large research university that other, conventional generators may not appreciate. The university is actually a small generator compared with the likes of utility companies and government agencies. Yet experience has shown that universities require unique service support for the management of a wide range, albeit smaller quantities of LLRW streams. Unlike larger LLRW generators with specialized cadres of employees dealing with LLRW issues, a research university is likely to have these same responsibilities handled by a small team of specialists requiring a variety of skill sets. The diversity of waste generated is reflective of the number and variety of waste generators on campus. With over 1500 medical research and teaching laboratories and a research reactor, the LLRW waste streams the U-M generates include significant volumes of solid, long- and short-lived waste as well as liquid mixed waste and non-hazardous aqueous waste. As a result of this diversity of waste streams, the U-M must meet compliance standards established by the NRC, EPA, DOT and the State of Michigan. Like other LLRW generators within the State of Michigan, the U-M was unable to ship LLRW for disposal from late 1991 through mid-1995 due to political restrictions imposed by the federal government relating to the state compact legislation. This resulted in a large quantity of LLRW and mixed waste shipped for processing and disposal beginning in mid-1996. The U-M, along with other small quantity generators must compete for access to the diminishing space remaining at the Barnwell Disposal Facility. The key to success in this area requires a ...
Date: February 25, 2003
Creator: Cullen, T. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

How NOT to Dispose of NORM/TENORM-bearing Wastes: A Case Study

Description: The Ashtabula River in northern Ohio contains a large amount of sediment containing quantities of NORM and TENORM from previous industrial activities at nearby mineral processing plants. Due to PCB contamination, these sediments were to be dredged and isolated in a landfill to be constructed by the responsible parties. Unfortunately, the State of Ohio has determined that these wastes may not be disposed of in this manner, and this determination has resulted in delaying the remediation project. Computer models performed using the RESRAD computer code indicate that isolating these wastes in this manner will reduce dose to the nearby population because the NORM/TENORM will be safely buried beneath a compacted clay cover and isolated from all sources of exposure. In fact, radiation doses (including radon emanation) from these wastes in a properly maintained landfill are significantly lower than in the present condition, and the reduction is even more marked for NORM/TENORM in tailings piles. This suggests that, in many cases, disposal of NORM/TENORM wastes in on-site landfills may be a cost-effective and dose-conscious method of disposal, if regulatory issues can be resolved.
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: Karam, P. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Decommissioning Project of Bohunice A1 NPP

Description: The first (pilot) nuclear power plant A1 in the Slovak Republic, situated on Jaslovske Bohunice site (60 km from Bratislava) with the capacity of 143 MWel, was commissioned in 1972 and was running with interruptions till 1977. A KS 150 reactor (HWGCR) with natural uranium as fuel, D2O as moderator and gaseous CO2 as coolant was installed in the A1 plant. Outlet steam from primary reactor coolant system with the temperature of 410 C was led to 6 modules of steam generators and from there to turbine generators. Refueling was carried out on-line at plant full power. The first serious incident associated with refueling occurred in 1976 when a locking mechanism at a fuel assembly failed. The core was not damaged during that incident and following a reconstruction of the damaged technology channel, the plant continued in operation. However, serious problems were occurring with the integrity of steam generators (CO2 gas on primary side, water and steam on secondary side) when the plant had to be shut down frequently due to failures and subsequent repairs. The second serious accident occurred in 1977 when a fuel assembly was overheated with a subsequent release of D2O into gas cooling circuit due to a human failure in the course of replacement of a fuel assembly. Subsequent rapid increase in humidity of the primary system resulted in damages of fuel elements in the core and the primary system was contaminated by fission products. In-reactor structures had been damaged, too. Activity had penetrated also into certain parts of the secondary system via leaking steam generators. Radiation situation in the course of both events on the plant site and around it had been below the level of limits specified. Based on a technical and economical justification of the demanding character of equipment repairs for the restoration ...
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: Stubna, M.; Pekar, A.; Moravek, J. & Spirko, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The OPHELIE Mock-Up Experiment: First Step in the Demonstration of the Feasibility of HLW Disposal

Description: In the late 1980s, Belgium developed a reference design for disposal of the vitrified high level waste forms. Disposal was to be carried out in galleries in a sedimentary clay formation, acting as the main barrier. Engineered barriers (overpack, gallery backfill) complemented the host rock by retarding the release of radionuclides. To demonstrate the feasibility of this design, the Belgian Waste Management Agency (NIRAS/ONDRAF) started a demonstration project to construct and operate a dummy disposal gallery similar to the real ones. Several technical aspects of this in-situ testing not being worked out yet in detail, NIRAS/ONDRAF decided to carry out first a large scale surface mock-up test called OPHELIE. This test would allow the review of the chosen options for the backfill material, the disposal tube and the monitoring devices. The mock-up was constructed and put into operation in 1997 for some five years. The five years of hydration and heating of the backfill material h ave generated a large measurement database, as the set-up was heavily instrumented to monitor the main thermal, hydraulic and mechanical phenomena. In addition, a lot of unexpected observations have given more insight in physico-chemical phenomena (e.g. corrosion) that might take place in such an installation. The whole set-up was finally dismantled at the end of 2002. The paper will mainly focus on the last stage of this experiment i.e. the dismantling phase. It will detail how the sample analysis program has been elaborated in order to support both the preparation of the in-situ PRACLAY experiment and the current review of the disposal design. The dismantling of such large-scale experiment required a thorough preparation by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and technicians. Also the actual dismantling operations will be presented. Finally, this paper will discuss the lessons already learned, the first observations during the ...
Date: February 24, 2003
Creator: Dereeper, B. & Verstricht, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Novel Approach to Drum Venting and Drum Monitoring

Description: This paper describes the details and specifications associated with drum venting and drum monitoring technologies, and discusses the maturity of in-place systems and current applications. Each year, unventilated drums pressurize and develop bulges and/or breaches that can result in potentially hazardous explosions, posing undesirable hazards to workers and the environment. Drum venting is accomplished by the safe and simple installation of ventilated lids at the time of packaging, or by the inherently risky in-situ ventilation (depressurization) of ''bulged'' drums. Drum monitoring employs either a Magnetically Coupled Pressure Gauge (MCPG) Patent Pending and/or a Magnetically Coupled Corrosion Gauge (MCCG) Patent Pending. Through patented magnetic sensor coupling, these devices enable the noninvasive and remote monitoring of the potentially hazardous materials and/or spent nuclear fuel that is contained in 55-gal drums and associated steel overpack containers.
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Ohl, P. C.; Farwick, C. C.; Douglas, D. G. & Cruz, E. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ADDRESSING POLLUTION PREVENTION ISSUES IN THE DESIGN OF A NEW NUCLEAR RESEARCH FACILITY

Description: The Chemistry and Metallurgical Research (CMR) Facility was designed in 1949 and built in 1952 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to support analytical chemistry, metallurgical studies, and actinide research and development on samples of plutonium and other nuclear materials for the Atomic Energy Commission's nuclear weapons program. These primary programmatic uses of the CMR Facility have not changed significantly since it was constructed. In 1998, a seismic fault was found to the west of the CMR Facility and projected to extend beneath two wings of the building. As part of the overall Risk Management Strategy for the CMR Facility, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed to replace it by 2010 with what is called the CMR Facility Replacement (CMRR). In an effort to make this proposed new nuclear research facility environmentally sustainable, several pollution prevention/waste minimization initiatives are being reviewed for potential incorporation during the design phase. A two-phase approach is being adopted; the facility is being designed in a manner that integrates pollution prevention efforts, and programmatic activities are being tailored to minimize waste. Processes and procedures that reduce waste generation compared to current, prevalent processes and procedures are identified. Some of these ''best practices'' include the following: (1) recycling opportunities for spent materials; (2) replacing lithium batteries with alternate current adaptors; (3) using launderable contamination barriers in Radiological Control Areas (RCAs); (4) substituting mercury thermometers and manometers in RCAs with mercury-free devices; (5) puncturing and recycling aerosol cans; (6) using non-hazardous low-mercury fluorescent bulbs where available; (7) characterizing low-level waste as it is being generated; and (8) utilizing lead alternatives for radiological shielding. Each of these pollution prevention initiatives are being assessed for their technical validity, relevancy, and cost effectiveness. These efforts partially fulfill expectations of the DOE, other federal agencies, and the State of New Mexico ...
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Cournoyer, Michael E.; Corpion, Juan & Nelson, Timothy O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reaching Part Per Trillion Clean-Up Criteria for Mercury in Water

Description: In the last couple of years, emphasis on environmental mercury contamination and elimination of mercury use has increased. The U.S. Department of Energy has for many decades maintained a stockpile of elemental mercury for operations and, as a consequence of its routine use, spills have occurred. These historical spills have resulted in some contamination of water streams and soils. In this work we examine a newly developed technique for removal of mercury from contaminated groundwater. In this application the mercury concentration was approximately 2.3 parts per billion and the treatment criterion was 200 parts per trillion. Several forms of mercury species contributed to the contamination. The treatment technique developed for this water was to convert all forms of mercury, through a series of fast chemical reactions, to elemental mercury, which was air-stripped from the water. This paper presents preliminary laboratory work on the method.
Date: February 24, 2003
Creator: Klasson, K. T.; Kosny, K.; Drescher, S. R.; Southworth, G. R. & Hensley, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

St. Louis FUSRAP Lessons Learned

Description: The purpose of this paper is to present lessons learned from fours years' experience conducting Remedial Investigation and Remedial Action activities at the St. Louis Downtown Site (SLDS) under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). Many FUSRAP sites are experiencing challenges conducting Remedial Actions within forecasted volume and budget estimates. The St. Louis FUSRAP lessons learned provide insight to options for cost effective remediation at FUSRAP sites. The lessons learned are focused on project planning (budget and schedule), investigation, design, and construction.
Date: February 26, 2003
Creator: Eberlin, J.; Williams, D. & Mueller, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CHARACTERIZATION OF CURRENTLY GENERATED TRANUSRANIC WASTE AT THE LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY'S PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION FACILITY

Description: By the time the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) completes its Disposal Phase in FY 2034, the Department of Energy (DOE) will have disposed of approximately 109,378 cubic meters (m3) of Transuranic (TRU) waste in WIPP (1). If DOE adheres to its 2005 Pollution Prevention Goal of generating less than 141m3/yr of TRU waste, approximately 5000 m3 (4%) of that TRU waste will be newly generated (2). Because of the overwhelming majority (96%) of TRU waste destined for disposal at WIPP is legacy waste, the characterization and certification requirements were developed to resolve those issues related to legacy waste. Like many other DOE facilities Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has a large volume (9,010m3) of legacy Transuranic Waste in storage (3). Unlike most DOE facilities LANL will generate approximately 140m3 of newly generated TRU waste each year3. LANL's certification program was established to meet the WIPP requirements for legacy waste and does not take advantage of the fundamental differences in waste knowledge between newly generated and legacy TRU waste.
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Dodge, Robert L. & Montoya, Andy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Management of Spent and Disused Radiation Sources - The Zambian Experience

Description: Zambia like all other countries in the world is faced with environmental problems brought about by a variety of human activities. In Zambia the major environmental issues as identified by Nation Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) of 1994 are water pollution, poor sanitation, land degradation, air pollution, poor waste management, misuse of chemicals, wildlife depletion and deforestation. Zambian has been using a lot of radioactive materials in its various industries. The country has taken several projects with help of external partners. These partners however left these projects in the hands of the Zambians without developing their capacities to manage these radioactive sources. The Government recognized the need to manage these sources and passed legislation governing the management of radioactive materials. The first act of Parliament on Radiation Protection work was passed in 1975 to legislate the use of ionizing radiation. However, because of financial constraints the Country is facing, these regulations have remained unimplemented. Fortunately the international Community has been working in partnership with the Zambian Government in the Management of Radioactive Material. Therefore this paper will present the following aspects of radioactive waste management in Zambia: review Existing Legislation in Zambia regarding management of spent/radioactive sources; capacity building in the field of management of radioactive waste; management of spent and disused radiation sources; existing disposal systems in Zambia regarding spent/orphaned sources; existing stocks of radioactive sources in the Zambian industries.
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: Chabala, F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Replacement of HEPA Filters at the LANL CMR Facility: Risks Reduced by Comprehensive Waste Characterization

Description: In March 2001, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) completed the replacement of 720 radioactively contaminated HEPA filters for $5.7M. This project was completed five months ahead of schedule and $6.0M under budget with no worker injuries or contaminations. Numerous health and safety, environmental, and waste disposal problems were overcome, including having to perform work in a radioactively contaminated work environment, that was also contaminated with perchlorates (potential explosive). High waste disposal costs were also an issue. A project risk analysis and government cost estimate determined that the cost of performing the work would be $11.8M. To reduce risk, a $1.2M comprehensive condition assessment was performed to determine the degree of toxic and radioactive contamination trapped on the HEPA filters; and to determine whether explosive concentrations of perchlorates were present. Workers from LANL and personnel from Waldheim International of Knoxville, TN collected hundreds of samples wearing personnel protective gear against radioactive, toxic, and explosive hazards. LANL also funded research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology to determine the explosivity of perchlorates. The data acquired from the condition assessment showed that toxic metals, toxic organic compounds, and explosive concentrations of perchlorates were absent. The data also showed that the extent of actinide metal contamination was less than expected, reducing the potential of transuranic waste generation by 50%. Consequently, $4.2M in cost savings and $1.8M in risk reduction were realized by increased worker productivity and waste segregation.
Date: February 28, 2002
Creator: Corpion, J.; Barr, A.; Martinez, P. & Bader, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safety Assessment Methodologies and Their Application in Development of Near Surface Waste Disposal Facilities--ASAM Project

Description: Safety of near surface disposal facilities is a primary focus and objective of stakeholders involved in radioactive waste management of low and intermediate level waste and safety assessment is an important tool contributing to the evaluation and demonstration of the overall safety of these facilities. It plays significant role in different stages of development of these facilities (site characterization, design, operation, closure) and especially for those facilities for which safety assessment has not been performed or safety has not been demonstrated yet and the future has not been decided. Safety assessments also create the basis for the safety arguments presented to nuclear regulators, public and other interested parties in respect of the safety of existing facilities, the measures to upgrade existing facilities and development of new facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has initiated a number of research coordinated projects in the field of development and improvement of approaches to safety assessment and methodologies for safety assessment of near surface disposal facilities, such as NSARS (Near Surface Radioactive Waste Disposal Safety Assessment Reliability Study) and ISAM (Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities) projects. These projects were very successful and showed that there is a need to promote the consistent application of the safety assessment methodologies and to explore approaches to regulatory review of safety assessments and safety cases in order to make safety related decisions. These objectives have been the basis of the IAEA follow up coordinated research project--ASAM (Application of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities), which will commence in November 2002 and continue for a period of three years.
Date: February 25, 2003
Creator: Batandjieva, B. & Metcalf, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safe, Cost Effective Management of Inactive Facilities at the Savannah River Site

Description: The Savannah River Site is part of the U.S. Department of Energy complex. It was constructed during the early 1950s to produce basic materials (such as plutonium-239 and tritium) used in the production of nuclear weapons. The 310-square-mile site is located in South Carolina, about 12 miles south of Aiken, South Carolina, and about 15 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia. Savannah River Site (SRS) has approximately 200 facilities identified as inactive. These facilities range in size and complexity from large nuclear reactors to small storage buildings. These facilities are located throughout the site including three reactor areas, the heavy water plant area, the manufacturing area, and other research and support areas. Unlike DOE Closure Sites such as Hanford and Rocky Flats, SRS is a Project Completion Site with continuing missions. As facilities complete their defined mission, they are shutdown and transferred from operations to the facility disposition program. At the SRS, Facilities Decontamination and Decommissioning (FDD) personnel manage the disposition phase of a inactive facility's life cycle in a manner that minimizes life cycle cost without compromising (1) the health or safety of workers and the public or (2) the quality of the environment. The disposition phase begins upon completion of operations shutdown and extends through establishing the final end-state. FDD has developed innovative programs to manage their responsibilities within a constrained budget.
Date: February 25, 2002
Creator: Austin, W. E.; Yannitell, D. M. & Freeman, D. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stabilization of Mercury in High pH Tank Sludges

Description: DOE complex contains many tank sludges contaminated with mercury. The high pH of these tank sludges typically fails to stabilize the mercury, resulting in these radioactive wastes also being characteristically hazardous or mixed waste. The traditional treatment for soluble inorganic mercury species is precipitation as insoluble mercuric sulfide. Sulfide treatment and a commercial mercury-stabilizing product were tested on surrogate sludges at various alkaline pH values. Neither the sulfide nor the commercial product stabilized the mercury sufficiently at the high pH of the tank sludges to pass the Toxicity Characteristic Leach Procedure (TCLP) treatment standards of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The commercial product also failed to stabilize the mercury in samples of the actual tank sludges.
Date: February 24, 2003
Creator: Spence, R. & Barton, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Highly Selective Nuclide Removal from the R-Reactor Disassembly Basin at the SRS

Description: This paper describes the results of a deployment of highly selective ion-exchange resin technologies for the in-situ removal of Cs-137 and Sr-90 from the Savannah River Site (SRS) R-Reactor Disassembly Basin. The deployment was supported by the DOE Office of Science and Technology's (OST, EM-50) National Engineering Technology Laboratory (NETL), as a part of an Accelerated Site Technology Deployment (ASTD) project. The Facilities Decontamination and Decommissioning (FDD) Program at the SRS conducted this deployment as a part of an overall program to deactivate three of the site's five reactor disassembly basins.
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: Pickett, J. B.; Austin, W. E. & Dukes, H. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improved Techniques Used at Brookhaven National Laboratory to Package and Dispose of Radioisotope Production Waste Lowers Worker Exposure

Description: This paper describes the operations that generate Radioisotope Production Waste at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the improved techniques used to handle and dispose of this waste. Historically, these wastes have produced high worker exposure during processing, packaging and disposal. The waste is made up of accelerator-produced nuclides of short to mid-length half-lives with a few longer-lived nuclides. However, because radiopharmaceutical research and treatment requires a constant supply of radioisotopes, the waste must be processed and disposed of in a timely manner. Since the waste cannot be stored for long periods of time to allow for adequate decay, engineering processes were implemented to safely handle the waste routinely and with ALARA principles in mind.
Date: February 24, 2003
Creator: Sullivan, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Site Selection and Geological Research Connected with High Level Waste Disposal Programme in the Czech Republic

Description: Attempts to solve the problem of high-level waste disposal including the spent fuel from nuclear power plants have been made in the Czech Republic for over the 10 years. Already in 1991 the Ministry of Environment entitled The Czech Geological Survey to deal with the siting of the locality for HLW disposal and the project No. 3308 ''The geological research of the safe disposal of high level waste'' had started. Within this project a sub-project ''A selection of perspective HLW disposal sites in the Bohemian Massif'' has been elaborated and 27 prospective areas were identified in the Czech Republic. This selection has been later narrowed to 8 areas which are recently studied in more detail. As a parallel research activity with siting a granitic body Melechov Massif in Central Moldanubian Pluton has been chosen as a test site and the 1st stage of research i.e. evaluation and study of its geological, hydrogeological, geophysical, tectonic and structural properties has been already completed. The Melechov Massif was selected as a test site after the recommendation of WATRP (Waste Management Assessment and Technical Review Programme) mission of IAEA (1993) because it represents an area analogous with the host geological environment for the future HLW and spent fuel disposal in the Czech Republic, i.e. variscan granitoids. It is necessary to say that this site would not be in a locality where the deep repository will be built, although it is a site suitable for oriented research for the sampling and collection of descriptive data using up to date and advanced scientific methods. The Czech Republic HLW and spent fuel disposal programme is now based on The Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management (''Concept'' hereinafter) which has been prepared in compliance with energy policy approved by Government Decree No. 50 of 12th ...
Date: February 25, 2003
Creator: Tomas, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Extension of the URF HADES: Realization and Observations

Description: An important step in the feasibility study of radioactive waste disposal in Boom Clay is the demonstration that we can construct galleries using industrial techniques, keeping the disturbance of the host-rock at an acceptable level for the long term safety of the disposal site. The successful construction of a connecting gallery of 85m in less than 6 weeks demonstrated the feasibility. To limit the disturbance, an expanding lining type was used: the wedge-block system; for the same reason, the lining was installed as soon as possible after excavation and a minimal excavation rate (2m/day) was imposed. The total radial convergence was limited to about 0.09m; the excavation radius was 2.445m. An extensive instrumentation and observation program accompanied the construction of the connecting gallery. Sensors measuring displacements, total pressure and pore water pressure were installed in the host rock to study the hydro-mechanical behavior of the clay when the gallery was excavated. Sensors in the tunneling shield gave information about the instantaneous convergence and excavation parameters. Strain gauges were placed in three sections of the lining to study the evolution of stresses in the lining with time. A systematic observation of the face and side-walls provided a useful database of the shape and orientation of encountered fractures. This way, the origin of the fractures can be explained and substantiated. The fractures were induced by differential stresses, about 6m ahead of the excavation face. No evidence of natural induced fractures was found. On the other hand, qualitative evidence of self healing and self-sealing of the host rock was encountered.
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Bastiaens, W & Demarche, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TSPA Model for the Yucca Mountain Unsaturated Zone

Description: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being considered as a potential site for a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Total-system performance-assessment (TSPA) calculations are performed to evaluate the safety of the site. Such calculations require submodels for all important engineered and natural components of the disposal system. There are five submodels related to the unsaturated zone: climate, infiltration, mountain-scale flow of water, seepage into emplacement drifts, and radionuclide transport. For each of these areas, models have been developed and implemented for use in TSPA. The climate model is very simple (a set of climate states have been deduced from paleoclimate data, and the times when climate changes occur in the future have been estimated), but the other four models make use of complex process models involving time-consuming computer runs. An important goal is to evaluate the impact of uncertainties (e.g., incomplete knowledge of the site) on the estimates of potential repository performance, so particular attention is given to the key uncertainties for each area. Uncertainties in climate, infiltration, and mountain-scale flow are represented in TSPA simulations by means of discrete high, medium, and low cases. Uncertainties in seepage and radionuclide transport are represented by means of continuous probability distributions for several key parameters.
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: Wilson, M. L. & Ho, C. K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Objectives and Current Status of the IAEA Network of Centers of Excellence: Training in and Demonstration of Waste Disposal Technologies in Underground Research Laboratories

Description: Underground Research Laboratories (URLs) to develop and demonstrate technologies for the safe geologic disposal of radioactive wastes have been established for national purposes by several Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Under the auspices of the IAEA, nationally developed URLs and associated research institutions are being offered for use by other nations. These facilities form a Network of Centers of Excellence for training in and development of waste disposal technologies. Experience gained in the operation of the facilities, and through associated experimentation and demonstrations, will be transferred to participating Member States through hands-on work at the facilities. The Network consists of Network Members and Network Participants who share co-operative activities. Network Members are owners of facilities who have offered them to be part of the Network. At this time there are eight Members consisting of six underground facilities, a laboratory, and a university. Network Participants can potentially come from any interested IAEA Member State having spent nuclear fuel for disposal, with or without an established program for geologic disposal. There are presently about 15 Network Participants. A significant Network activity beginning in 2003 will be a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on characterization and evaluation of swelling clays for use in engineered barrier systems of geologic repositories. At the end of this project, every involved Member State should be able to identify and characterize a swelling clay that is suitable for use in a geologic repository. As the Network grows, additional CRPs to be carried out in the Underground Research Facilities of the Network Members will be defined.
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Bell, M. J. & Knapp, M. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pyrolysis/Steam Reforming Technology for Treatment of TRU Orphan Wastes

Description: Certain transuranic (TRU) waste streams within the Department of Energy (DOE) complex cannot be disposed of at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) because they do not meet the shipping requirements of the TRUPACT-II or the disposal requirements of the Waste Analysis Plan (WAP) in the WIPP RCRA Part B Permit. These waste streams, referred to as orphan wastes, cannot be shipped or disposed of because they contain one or more prohibited items, such as liquids, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen gas, corrosive acids or bases, reactive metals, or high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), etc. The patented, non-incineration, pyrolysis and steam reforming processes marketed by THOR Treatment Technologies LLC removes all of these prohibited items from drums of TRU waste and produces a dry, inert, inorganic waste material that meets the existing TRUPACT-II requirements for shipping, as well as the existing WAP requirements for disposal of TRU waste at WIPP. THOR Treatment Technologies is a joint venture formed in June 2002 by Studsvik, Inc. (Studsvik) and Westinghouse Government Environmental Services Company LLC (WGES) to further develop and deploy Studsvik's patented THORSM technology within the DOE and Department of Defense (DoD) markets. The THORSM treatment process is a commercially proven system that has treated over 100,000 cu. ft. of nuclear waste from commercial power plants since 1999. Some of this waste has had contact dose rates of up to 400 R/hr. A distinguishing characteristic of the THORSM process for TRU waste treatment is the ability to treat drums of waste without removing the waste contents from the drum. This feature greatly minimizes criticality and contamination issues for processing of plutonium-containing wastes. The novel features described herein are protected by issued and pending patents.
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Mason, J. B.; McKibbin, J.; Schmoker, D. & Bacala, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

How Waste Management Can Be Influenced By Transport Packagings

Description: With major D&D projects ongoing or being planned, and also with the daily management of radwaste from nuclear facilities, the potential role of transport packagings has often been overlooked: here will one rely essentially on drums, there several local waste processing units are built, elsewhere decommissioned facilities are cut in small bits to fit into small containers by far less efficient. The present paper proposes to illustrate how integrating a transport system from the start may influence operational choices of waste management.
Date: February 28, 2002
Creator: Roland, V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department